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Old 01-15-2015, 06:59 PM   #41
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Thanks for the blogs. I read many of them. I don't think they are lying about expenses. Generally, travelers are honest people because they rely on the honesty of strangers. That is how the world works. "Anyone who runs a scam, you are running a scam on yourself."
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:44 PM   #42
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Watch the documentary Living on one dollar- it's currently on Netflix. It may have you rethink the live like a local lifestyle. You may want to check out the Backpackers Visa in Australia, but you have to work. The folks we met doing that were having a great adventure.
Australia is not a cheap place to live, 12k pa would not allow you to live very well at all. Even as a backpacker. A option would be to work on a farm or do WOOFing, but that is hard work picking fruit etc.

(as an Aussie, trust me; if you find the USA expensive, Australia will not be the place to ER with not much money)

I would also check out the ERE and MMM blogs/forums OP. their idea of retirement is to be able to do work of your choosing along the way to top up your funds, so a different definition that what many people have.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:06 PM   #43
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I say go for it. Life is much too short and you'll prob regret it if you don't. Wish I wasn't such a chicken about going out of the US.
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Old 01-15-2015, 11:41 PM   #44
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OP, I don't think your idea sounds crazy. I have considered doing the same before.

However what I have decided to do is go for early semi-retirement instead of completely retiring. So, in my case my goal is to be able to pay for half of my living expenses via investments and the other half from work.

Financially this is a much easier goal and its also probably more realistic psychologically... What I have realized is that work is a huge part of my socializing/friendships/camaraderie, etc. Like most people I spend so much time a work that it is my main "social circle". I'm not married and don't have a girlfriend. Otherwise it might not be as important. Of course I could always change that, but I do have a bit of a hermit personality and enjoy having a lot of time by myself.

Stopping work completely would probably not be healthy for me. Luckily I don't mind working, I just don't like how time consuming it is. I would like to have more time for other things and not feel like work is such an obligation.

Anyway, since my goal is ESR, I believe I can achieve this easily staying in the US. There is no need to move to another country to be able to pull this off by my mid 40s, which is what I am targeting.

I am actually 88% of the way to my goal already (age 39 this year). My taxable stock dividends already bring in 88% of what I need for 50% of living expenses. I have roughly 50% of my investments in taxable and the other 50% in 401k and Roth IRA.

Oddly, I still don't feel like I have enough money to pursue ESR yet... I may end up being a perpetual OMY person.

P.S. If you want to travel I think working as an english language teacher would be an awesome way to do it. You would make plenty to living on and could leave your investments alone to grow more. If I end up wanting to expat for a while, that is the first option I will look into.
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Old 01-16-2015, 12:54 AM   #45
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OP, I don't think your idea sounds crazy. I have considered doing the same before.

However what I have decided to do is go for early semi-retirement instead of completely retiring. So, in my case my goal is to be able to pay for half of my living expenses via investments and the other half from work.

Financially this is a much easier goal and its also probably more realistic psychologically... What I have realized is that work is a huge part of my socializing/friendships/camaraderie, etc. Like most people I spend so much time a work that it is my main "social circle". I'm not married and don't have a girlfriend. Otherwise it might not be as important. Of course I could always change that, but
I do have a bit of a hermit personality and enjoy having a lot of time by myself.

Stopping work completely would probably not be healthy for me. Luckily I don't mind working, I just don't like how time consuming it is. I would like to have more time for other things and not feel like work is such an obligation.

Anyway, since my goal is ESR, I believe I can achieve this easily staying in the US. There is no need to move to another country to be able to pull this off by my mid 40s, which is what I am targeting.

I am actually 88% of the way to my goal already (age 39 this year). My taxable stock dividends already bring in 88% of what I need for 50% of living expenses. I have roughly 50% of my investments in taxable and the other 50% in 401k and Roth IRA.

Oddly, I still don't feel like I have enough money to pursue ESR yet... I may end up being a perpetual OMY person.

P.S. If you want to travel I think working as an english language teacher would be an awesome way to do it. You would make plenty to living on and could leave your investments alone to grow more. If I end up wanting to expat for a while, that is the first option I will look into.
Thanks for such a thoughtful and honest post. I am a bit introspective myself. Most of my small social appetite is fulfilled at work but since I work nights I am at work when most people are socializing. I think that is holding me back.

I found Bob Clyatt's book on the shelf of the local library which led me to this forum. I was on the ER path before then. I felt like I've been running a sprint and a marathon at the same time for several years. I just feel worn out. The unique thing about Clyatt's book is that it deals with the psychological as well as the financial. That is the only time I've seen that. I should reread it.


Also, nice avatar. Nobody suffers from depression when you are being chased by a bear. Am I right?
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:08 AM   #46
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Also, nice avatar. Nobody suffers from depression when you are being chased by a bear. Am I right?
I'm not sure where I found that avatar picture but it was back during the great recession crisis when everything was going crazy. I thought the picture was hilarious. So decided to start using it as my avatar.

The old guy is really hauling it to get away from the bear market lol.
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:20 AM   #47
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I'm not sure where I found that avatar picture but it was back during the great recession crisis when everything was going crazy. I thought the picture was hilarious. So decided to start using it as my avatar.

The old guy is really hauling it to get away from the bear market lol.
The depression quote is from Adam Carolla. Obviously a metaphor. The bear is different for everyone.
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Old 01-16-2015, 07:57 AM   #48
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retirementguy1, I say go for it. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Raising Arizona: "Oh, H.I, you're young and you've got your health...what do you want with a job?" Nobody (including you) knows if your money will hold out, but if you live a frugal lifestyle, you could last a long time. And it's not as if $300K will vanish in a week. You will find out it is either working or it isn't and have a long time to plan if you see that it isn't going to pan out.

A friend of mine has a son that does something similar, but has nowhere near $300K. He works in the US for a while (a year or two), saves his money, then goes somewhere (this time its central America), putters around, finds a job if he needs more money, and lives as a local, with all the good and bad that comes with that. Some view this as insane, but life is way too short to not follow your dream. Just ask yourself: what's the worst that could happen? You find out that you don't have enough money to last forever? Well, then that means get a job and make more money. Sounds like you have quite the adventure ahead.
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:51 AM   #49
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Hi all, I am 32 years old and I work in food service in Las Vegas. I am burnt out and have always wanted to live abroad. My net worth is $300k. With a 4% withdrawal rate I would have $12k a year to live on which goes pretty far in some countries. I'm considering Puerto Rico, SE Asia (Thailand to Vietnam), Latin and South America (Panama, Nicaragua).

I am open to working part-time. I could treat this like a sabbatical and if things don't work out financially I can always come back to the US and work.

I also would like to hear from expats and what their expenses are.

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.
Many of the posters on this board are in technology or a field that if you take any significant time away it can be very difficult to return to the same field. Since you are in food service, my thoughts are this would not be the case with you.

You are 32 years old and from what I can tell, with no obligations (wife, kids, etc).

You have some significant resources that, while unlikely enough for a permanent retirement, can fund a carefully planned adventure for a number of years.

Possible negative: if where you are currently employed offers substantial upward mobility in the (near) future including wage increases, you may be sacrificing some serious income. Only you know the answer to this.

Another possible negative: If you are able to carefully swing this for an extended period of time, your social security later in life will be seriously compromised, and it is possible you will need to live your elder years on an Austerity budget, and/or work until you drop. My 32 year old self had a significantly different image of my 65 year old self than my 45 year old self does currently (hope that made sense). That being said, if at 45 you start to worry about these kinds of things, there is still time to return stateside and work for 20 or so years to build up the nest egg and social security for a more secure traditional retirement.

In your position, with your apparent desires, I would probably sell all of my stateside posessions and hop a plane. I really don't see much of a downside here, as long as all my points above are accurate. Don't leave anything here to add to expenses, no storage lockers or anything.

Just be prepared to come back stateside if things don't work out. If you are willing to live like the locals in low cost areas, and you can find some work, who knows how long you could swing this. Be careful about finding work though, make sure you know, understand, and follow the local laws.

Let us know if you go for it, and please stay in touch on the board if you do. I, and likely others, would like to learn from your adventures.

Also, There are others that have done what you want to do. The first ones that come to mind are who I consider some of the pioneers of early retirement, Paul and Vicki Terhorst. They wrote a book, "Cashing in on the American Dream" somewhere in the 80s. Also, Bill and Akaisha Kaderli. Both of these couples make some money off of writing articles and blogs, but you might check them out, as they've both been doing the expat thing for a long time.

Good luck!

-Pan
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Old 01-16-2015, 12:16 PM   #50
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look into Chiang Mai, Thailand


Many expats live there for $6,000 per year or less
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Old 01-16-2015, 04:14 PM   #51
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Many of the posters on this board are in technology or a field that if you take any significant time away it can be very difficult to return to the same field. Since you are in food service, my thoughts are this would not be the case with you.

You are 32 years old and from what I can tell, with no obligations (wife, kids, etc).

You have some significant resources that, while unlikely enough for a permanent retirement, can fund a carefully planned adventure for a number of years.

Possible negative: if where you are currently employed offers substantial upward mobility in the (near) future including wage increases, you may be sacrificing some serious income. Only you know the answer to this.

Another possible negative: If you are able to carefully swing this for an extended period of time, your social security later in life will be seriously compromised, and it is possible you will need to live your elder years on an Austerity budget, and/or work until you drop. My 32 year old self had a significantly different image of my 65 year old self than my 45 year old self does currently (hope that made sense). That being said, if at 45 you start to worry about these kinds of things, there is still time to return stateside and work for 20 or so years to build up the nest egg and social security for a more secure traditional retirement.

In your position, with your apparent desires, I would probably sell all of my stateside posessions and hop a plane. I really don't see much of a downside here, as long as all my points above are accurate. Don't leave anything here to add to expenses, no storage lockers or anything.

Just be prepared to come back stateside if things don't work out. If you are willing to live like the locals in low cost areas, and you can find some work, who knows how long you could swing this. Be careful about finding work though, make sure you know, understand, and follow the local laws.

Let us know if you go for it, and please stay in touch on the board if you do. I, and likely others, would like to learn from your adventures.

Also, There are others that have done what you want to do. The first ones that come to mind are who I consider some of the pioneers of early retirement, Paul and Vicki Terhorst. They wrote a book, "Cashing in on the American Dream" somewhere in the 80s. Also, Bill and Akaisha Kaderli. Both of these couples make some money off of writing articles and blogs, but you might check them out, as they've both been doing the expat thing for a long time.

Good luck!

-Pan
I've never planned on having SS. I've read Terhorst's book. I have no upward mobility at my job. I am at the top of my game when it comes to income in Vegas. It won't get much better.

I will probably work six months to build up some cash reserves and then pull the trigger. Great analysis BTW
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:44 PM   #52
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look into Chiang Mai, Thailand


Many expats live there for $6,000 per year or less
Not even close to a realistic long term budget. How do I know? I used to live in Chiang Mai. In fact, I have spent a fair amount of time there with both Paul/Vicki and Billy/Akaisha and they certainly were not living like that.

Also, the OP would have to get a work visa or a language learning visa and attend school in order to legally live there long term. The retirement visa, besides requiring about $24,000 in a Thai bank account, requires that you be 50 years old or over. I was a 40-something millionaire living in Chiang Mai but I couldn't get a proper non-tourist visa, at least under conditions that I preferred. Doing visa runs on a tourist visa is not viable in Thailand for long-term living. Teaching English pay in Chiang Mai is awful, way below what one would get in Bangkok (which is also very low).

By the way, if any board members will be in Chiang Mai in the first half of February, I will be visiting there with my Filipina girlfriend, would love to meet up
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:54 PM   #53
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Another possible negative: If you are able to carefully swing this for an extended period of time, your social security later in life will be seriously compromised
I was going to say that SS for most folks under 40 is seriously compromised. I don't include it in any retirement planning.

One other thing that OP may think about, but 300k or so is a LOT and you can certainly start a business over there for far less. It may require some hoops to jump through, but I know for instance a computer shop in the Philippines could be done for maybe 4-5k.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:50 AM   #54
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Sorry to put a damper on things, but the 4% safe withdrawal rate with inflation adjustments guideline is for a maximum duration of 30 years. It assumes there will be a draw down of principal. After 30 years, when you are 62, your nest egg would likely be depleted.
Don't worry you aren't putting much of a damper on things because what you're saying isn't true.

Your chance of running out of money is certainly higher pulling 4% for time frames longer than 30 years, but that isn't the same thing as "most likely depleted" at 30. Here is from firecalc for 30 years at 4% starting with $1,000,000:



Given the red line is $0 (depleted) drawing 4% clearly doesn't usually deplete the portfolio after 30 years, and in fact firecalc shows a success rate of over 80% for a 40 year withdrawal phase at 4%.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:02 AM   #55
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I think you have underestimated the cost of living in SE Asia.

I would budget of US$4,000 per month.
Since everyone has different ideas of a minimally acceptable lifestyle it is hard to put a right or wrong answer on cost of living, but there are plenty of blogs from people who live fairly comfortable in Chiang Mai for far less than $4,4000 per month. I don't mean the $350/month studio slum rice every day types, I mean people with reasonably nice apartments who seem to have a decent thing going like:

$1,759/month = The Cost of Living Like a Boss in Chiang Mai

$1,433/month = Report: The Cost of Living in Chiang Mai, Thailand : Pause The Moment – Travel | Adventure | Location Independence

$1,180/month = Chiang Mai Budget Breakdown - Tieland to Thailand

$1,351/month = The Cost of Living in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Obviously his mileage may vary, but there sure are a lot of couples living on less than $2,000 per month, I'd wager a single person could probably manage on something far less than $4,000 without sacrificing too much if he's willing to move someowhere relatively cheap.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:02 AM   #56
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I will be very surprised if OP indeed lives for the next 50 years or so on his $300K savings. There will be many opportunities in the next 50 years that may change OP's financial situations, e.g., meeting a royal Thai girl and problem being solved.

OP has probably been making money with an independent life for about 10 years. Who knows what will be out there for the next 50 years.
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Old 01-17-2015, 05:08 PM   #57
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Thanks for all the budget links. I do have a slight beef with Thailand. When I was there it kind of felt like this, "Give us your money and get the f#%^ out." Hence the 90 day visa. I'm not opposed to living there but they sure make you jump through hoops.
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Old 01-17-2015, 05:41 PM   #58
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I got this PM:


Your plan to move to Puerto Rico sounds great, do it while you are young, this board is old guys, requiring a lot of money and solid answers to move.
I have traveled a lot, always looking for an alternate place to live, winterwise, or if the world changes.
Read every international living magazine article you can, they push certain countries and real estate, but also cover $ and visa, work issues.
Live like a local, for sure.
My recommendations are...since you obviously speak spanish, ...move right now to PR, and explore that lifestyle and surrounding places. I would say you check out, viaques island, roatan, with its 21k us expats, and curacao with 3 women for each guy. These are place I consider to be doable, and have traveled to them. I am older also with some health issues, so fulltime wouldnt work, but I am considering buying a place overseas, once I quit traveling/exploring. By the way, last time I emailed with the Terhorts, they were back in Austin, tx. Which with social security and medicare, might be your old age retirement plan.
Terry


Sounds and smells like bullshi*t.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:55 PM   #59
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People skills are important for the world traveler:

Amazon.com: How To Win Friends and Influence People eBook: Dale Carnegie: Kindle Store
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Old 01-18-2015, 09:35 AM   #60
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I got this PM:


Your plan to move to Puerto Rico sounds great, do it while you are young, this board is old guys, requiring a lot of money and solid answers to move.
I have traveled a lot, always looking for an alternate place to live, winterwise, or if the world changes.
Read every international living magazine article you can, they push certain countries and real estate, but also cover $ and visa, work issues.
Live like a local, for sure.
My recommendations are...since you obviously speak spanish, ...move right now to PR, and explore that lifestyle and surrounding places. I would say you check out, viaques island, roatan, with its 21k us expats, and curacao with 3 women for each guy. These are place I consider to be doable, and have traveled to them. I am older also with some health issues, so fulltime wouldnt work, but I am considering buying a place overseas, once I quit traveling/exploring. By the way, last time I emailed with the Terhorts, they were back in Austin, tx. Which with social security and medicare, might be your old age retirement plan.
Terry


Sounds and smells like bullshi*t.

Excellent advice, especially if you speak spanish. At least in PR you are still basically in the US with all the advantages (and disadvantages) that provides. This board does skew old, if you asked this same question on MMM (Mr Money Mustache) you would have gotten significantly different feedback, I would imagine. With that being said, you are also getting a viewpoint that older people do think alot more about security than a 32 year old does. I'm about 13 years older than you, so not that old, but not that young anymore either. This is what I meant when I said, "My 32 year old self had a significantly different image of my 65 year old self than my 45 year old self does currently" Most of us get naturally more conservative as we age. Also, like I also said before, there are a lot of tech types on this board, and we are naturally conservative anyway.

The only thing I can offer about PR is I know some natives who came from there. Job possibilities, from what I understand, are hard to come by. Good jumping off point tho!
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